Tech – for Everyone

Tech Tips and Tricks & Advice – written in plain English.

Email password trouble

A reader wrote in with a question, and since I cannot reply via email, will do so here ..

emailQ:I am having trouble with passwords and email. My email address in now jammed. I do not want to keep important information on line but many things do go there. How can people and companies be convinced to respect what is done on line and give warnings before closing email, give warnings before redesigning pages, and keep important information consistant? The internet is supposed to be easy, a convenience.

A: Dear Reader,
Though I can’t be certain, it sounds to me like your email has either been hijacked by a cyber-criminal (aka “hacker”) or your email provider has had large-scale hacking attacks, and reset people’s passwords as a preventative measure (such as has been happening at Yahoo! and AOL). I recommend contacting your email’s tech support. (In webmail, that’s usually done by clicking the “forgot my password” link.)

As for “getting people to respect”… well, there are evil and/or greedy types, as well as idiots, out there in the ‘world-wide’… and who said the Internet is supposed to be easy or convenient? What it is  supposed to do is make (some) people money, spy on us, and show advertisements. To do that, it has to be easy so the average human can use it (aka ‘reach a larger audience’) and offer conveniences (and entertainments) so they will. But I agree with you. It would be very nice if those ‘webmasters’ out there would really, really, really think twice before “upgrading” their UI’s (aka “formats”).

Today’s quote:I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.” ~ George Bernard Shaw

Copyright 2007-2013 © “Tech Paul” (Paul Eckstrom). All Rights Reserved.


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December 3, 2013 - Posted by | advice, computers, cyber crime, e-mail, hackers, Internet

2 Comments »

  1. Just don’t email passwords, simple!

    Like

    Comment by Flynn Tesoriero | December 3, 2013 | Reply

    • Flynn Tesoriero,
      While that is certainly great advice, email account hijacking (and database hacking) is, in my experience, typically not the result of someone emailing their password to another, but most often their use of a simple (easily ‘cracked’) and/or easy to guess password (or “secret question”). And it can also happen when the bad guys use SQL injection (or other exploit) to gain access to the ‘master list’, such as recently happened to Adobe, Yahoo!, and countless others.

      Too many people don’t “get” that email is sent in plain text – very much like a postcard in the mail – and assume/presume it’s private, like a letter in a (sealed) envelope.

      Like

      Comment by techpaul | December 3, 2013 | Reply


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